Do You Ever Feel Like your Mind Will Not Shut Off?
Most of us are addicted to thinking. Our addiction tends to intensify when our mind perceives there is a problem to be solved. We want answers. We want resolution. We want to figure it out. Because we believe once we do, that everything will be better.
As much as I practice meditation and do many things to quiet my mind, there are times when my thoughts feel like the energizer bunny – they keep going and going and going.
Like the other weekend….
I just returned from spending three days totally off the grid at a spiritual retreat in New Mexico and was looking forward to spending some quality not-doing time. But the morning I was leaving, just a few short hours before I turned my phone off, I got thrown a curve ball that sent me reeling.
During what I expected to be a beautiful time of disconnection, I was suddenly faced with an expectation hangover to treat (I swear the next book I am writing is going to be called something like, “Eat all the chocolate you want, laugh a ton, make love and travel the world,” because whatever I write about I tend to get LOTS of experience with).
This particular unexpected surprise made my heart sink and put me face-to-face with the natural human tendency to immediately want to control, fix, and solve a problem. But there was nothing really I could do. I had committed to taking a personal retreat and spending time with a spiritual teacher. I knew that as much as my ego wanted a resolution, my soul had important lessons in store for me.
So there I was on this beautiful sacred land in an ugly wrestling match with my thoughts. With no external distractions, my mind would easily latch on to thinking about this situation like a dog with a bone. I had a moment in the sweat lodge where I could barely breath and was losing what felt like gallons of water, when I realized my addictive and obsessive thinking was robbing me of the incredible spiritual experience that was happening in that moment. The lesson here once again for me was about letting go.
Letting go of an addiction to thinking.
Letting go of control.
Letting go of needing to know.
Letting go of defending myself.
Letting go of attempting to solve the problem.
Sitting in a space of not being able to handle the situation externally reinforced the importance of how I responded internally. In my mental wrestling match, my best move was using a tool I teach in Expectation Hangover called “Horseback Rider Rx.” I reminded myself that my mind is like a galloping horse, but I am the rider that holds the reigns. Frequently I had to say, “WHOA!” when I noticed my mind obsessing and reigned it back to the present moment.
The wrestling match between my peace of mind and my thinking mind was intense, but once I made the conscious choice to surrender the situation to Spirit, I began to feel my own spirit and experienced the calming and restorative weekend I had expected.
I invite you to consider how being addicted to thinking impacts your life. Are you consistently trying to figure things out? Get answers? Find solutions? If so, it may be time for a “figuring it out” detox.
Uncertainty is a powerful, often painful, but necessary teacher. When we buy into the misunderstanding that our peace of mind comes from knowing the answer or figuring out the solution to a problem, we suffer from over-thinking and obsessing.
Peace of mind truly comes the instant we stop seeking the answer. The instant we stop wanting a resolution. The instant we stop investing so much energy into figuring something out.
Then instantly we start to hear the voice of our inner knowing, the wisdom of our soul, and the whisper of Spirit that is saying, “Don’t worry, dear one, I got this.”
The first step in healing addictive thinking is acknowledging what your mind is addicted to so please head over to the blog and share in the comments section. I am here to support you in sober thinking and remind you that you do not have to have it all figured out.